With Website Launch, Groups Ask New York State Policymakers to Choose Clean Water over Dirty Gas Drilling

ALBANY, NY (08/24/2010)(readMedia)-- A coalition of environmental and community groups have launched a new website to educate New Yorkers about the potential degradation of New York State's water resources by natural gas development. The site, www.CleanWaterNotDirtyDrilling.org, is the work of Catskill Mountainkeeper, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Earthjustice, EARTHWORKS, Environmental Advocates of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper, and Shaleshock.

The site harnesses the collective expertise and reach of multiple organizations to more effectively prevent harm to New York's natural resources and communities. Visitors can get a comprehensive overview of the issues, "one-stop shopping" for information on what's happening in New York and elsewhere, and actions they can take to help create change.

"The State Senate's recent action to impose a 'timeout' on fracking until next spring is the direct result of thousands of New Yorkers reaching out to their lawmakers," says Katherine Nadeau, Water & Natural Resources Director, Environmental Advocates of New York. "CleanWaterNotDirtyDrilling.org will keep up the momentum and make sure New Yorkers' voices continue to be heard in Albany. The oil and gas industry might be spending dollars, but we've got real people weighing in with their concerns, which is priceless."

The website asserts that three policy-related conditions must be met before drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") is considered for permitting in New York: solid scientific evidence on the impacts of the practice on water; strong rules and regulations that require drillers to not cut corners in protecting water and communities; and a sufficient number of qualified staff at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to monitor all gas drilling operations and enforce rules and regulations.

"Clean and abundant water supplies are the lifeblood of the state," says Lisa Wright of Shaleshock. "They reflect the tremendous challenges that intense, widespread drilling poses to our health, communities, and quality of life."

The CleanWaterNotDirtyDrilling coalition welcomes new organizational members to get involved in the effort. Over time, the site could expand to include information and policy-based actions for other states in the Marcellus Shale region. The site was designed by Agit-Pop Communications, the creators of the widely viewed action video on fracking, "Stand Up New York."


For more information:

Nadia Steinzor, EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project; 315-677-4111, nsteinzor@earthworksaction.org

Erica Ringewald, Environmental Advocates of New York; 518-210-9903, eringewald@eany.org

Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper; 845-482-5400, wes@catskillmountainkeeper.org

Deborah Goldberg, Earthjustice; dgoldberg@earthjustice.org, 212-791-1881 x227

Kate Slusark, Natural Resources Defense Council; kslusark@nrdc.org; 212-727-4592

Craig Michaels, Riverkeeper; cmichaels@riverkeeper.org, 914-422-4410

Lisa Wright, Shaleshock; shaleshock08@yahoo.com, 607-280-6695